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Centacare Sydney offers new options for pregnant women

Centacare Sydney has established a program to provide an alternative for pregnant women who may be considering an abortion. The program includes counselling, financial support, housing, health care and education for women, their partners and families.

Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, announced the development of the Centacare Pregnacy Support Program at a Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on 28 December.

Cardinal Pell emphasised the importance of a program of this kind as it can offer assistance to all women, including those who feel that they have no one to turn to for assistance. Through the program, expectant mothers and, if required, their families will be provided with social, emotional and practical support to enable them to continue with their pregnancy to full term.

Cardinal Pell said, "Women need real alternatives to abortion, and while the Catholic Church provides many family services, this new Pregnancy Support Program is targeted to meet the specific needs of women contemplating abortion.

"We want to respond to the needs of women facing an unexpected or difficult pregnancy by providing them with life affirming options.

"This will be a professional counselling and support service to women and their partners and families, as well as a referral service for accommodation and appropriate ongoing support services. Obviously spiritual help will be offered if it is requested."

Centacare's program will be available to women and their families in Sydney. Similar church-based programs exist in New Zealand and Scotland. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is considering ways and means to offer wider support to pregnant women across Australia.

Archdiocese of Sydney Media Release (28/12/04)

Archdiocese of Sydney
Centacare Sydney
Life Office, Archdiocese of Sydney

Meeting of Bishops' taskforce on pastoral responses to abortion (CathNews 24/12/04)
Bishops propose abortion alternatives (CathNews 26/11/04)
Life Offices urge continued public debate on abortion (CathNews 12/11/04)

Church acts on abortion (The Australian 1/1/05)
Church opens new front against abortion (The Age 28/12/04)

4 Jan 2005